Captivating from the very introduction, Winter Magic is the kind of book that's great to dip in and out of, enveloping you in warm winter fuzzies with every page you turn. Naturally, with a collection of short stories like this, certain stories are going to be favoured over others and below I'm sharing with you my favourite five stories from within the book.
A NIGHT AT THE FROST FAIR BY EMMA CARROLL
After leaving her Grandma in a care home, and travelling back through a busy London on a winter's night with her family, Maya soon finds herself in a very different kind of busy London... A London from many, many years ago. Having travelled through time with a gift given to her by her Grandma, Maya's world is turned upside down but ultimately changed for the better. A Night at the Frost Fair was a lovely opening to the eleven stories, and such an atmospheric read. Emma Carroll does winter so well.
SOMEONE LIKE THE SNOW QUEEN BY BERLIE DOHERTY
Inspired by the renowned story of the Snow Queen, Orla finds herself on a journey of discovery after allowing her younger brother to fend for himself and ultimately be lead away by the 'Snow Queen'. This is one of those stories that has a strong core and leaves you with a message concluding in a happy ending.
THE ROOM WITH THE MOUNTAIN VIEW BY LAUREN ST JOHN
The Room with the Mountain View is a mystery read that's packed full of adventure and a little reminiscent of the film Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock (as is noted within the story itself).
SNOW BY MICHELLE MAGORIAN
The only poem with this anthology, Snow is definitely one of the pages that wraps you up in those warm winter fuzzies that I mentioned before.
THE SNOW DRAGON BY ABI ELPHINSTONE
On the eve of Christmas, Phoebe is the only child left in a not so nice orphanage, with a rather horrible lady in charge who does nothing but put Phoebe down and belittle her - seriously, this woman is vile! Locked in a dog kennel outside of the orphanage building itself, Phoebe is greeted by a snow dragon who is about to take his annual Christmas Eve flight, and Phoebe is welcomed along for the ride. This story is such a heart warming one and a wonderful ending to the collection as a whole.
There are a variety of themes, other than being centred around winter, running through the stories in Winter Magic and I loved that each story had its own personal message or moral portrayed to the reader. There really is something for everyone in this book - whether you're looking to time travel, play a leading role in the production of The Nutcracker, meet a Snow Queen, fly over land and sea on a Snow Dragon, or be transported back to the nostalgia of childhood and be full of wonder and curiosity as we all are as youngsters.
Winter Magic is one of those charming winter reads that I know I'll return to in the future... And one I also look forward to sharing with my son in a good few years.